Malibu is a postcard-perfect beach paradise and one of the most coveted cities. You will want to prepare and educate yourself on Malibu's different neighborhoods and the real estate market. Hiring the right realtor will go a long way to making you confident as you make decisions. Below is our complete home-buying guide for Malibu.
Create your dream home wish list
Get your finances in order
Buying a home will probably be the largest purchase you make in your life, so it’s essential to ensure your finances are in order. Get your bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns ready because they will be among many documents mortgage lenders will ask for. You need to have a strong credit history, so we advise getting your credit report in advance. This way, you can check to ensure it’s accurate and that there are no errors or fraudulent activity. If there’s any incorrect information on your credit report, you’ll need to have it corrected immediately. You can get a free credit report once every 12 months on AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit score will significantly impact whether you can get a mortgage loan and at what rate you can get it. The higher your credit score, the more favorable rate you’ll be able to get.
Have a preapproval letter from the lender
After creditors check your finances and credit history, lenders will decide whether or not to approve you for a loan, the maximum loan amount you can get, and the mortgage rate for that loan. The loan amount will let you know your budget and help your real estate agent find properties that fit within that budget. If a lender decides you are a good candidate for a loan, get a preapproval letter. Sellers prefer to deal with buyers who already have a preapproved loan. They will consider your offer more seriously. Other buyers without preapprovals may be unable to get financing, which will delay the whole process.
Search for your ideal home and check the neighborhood
Get a professional home inspection
Have a professional do a complete home inspection. You should never skip the inspection, no matter how good or how new the home looks. A professional home inspector can spot potential problems with the house and tell you the true condition of its internal systems, such as the electrical wiring, the plumbing, and the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit. They can also detect other safety issues and test the home for dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide or mold.
Make a competitive offer
Once you find a home you want to buy, consult your real estate agent. They can help you access the home's true value and decide on the offer amount. In a seller’s market, making a competitive offer is important in increasing your chances of getting the final winning bid on a home. An experienced and local real estate agent will have all the market data and information on comparable sales. These “real estate comps” are similar houses in the same area that have sold recently and the range of prices they have sold for. You can always put in a higher offer if your offer is not accepted.